A 2015 study investigated the impacts of medical scribes in an emergency medicine practice. Although scribes are used to improve efficiency by performing documentation tasks, impacts have not been prospectively evaluated and so the objective was to assess a scribe program’s impact on emergency department including physician time utilisation and job satisfaction in a large academic emergency medicine practice.

The study found that scribes were well received, and documentation time was substantially reduced and redirected primarily to patient care. Despite an increase in emergency department cases, the hospital level of service was maintained, with fewer patients leaving against medical advice. There was a 36% reduction (25%–50%; p<0.01) in time spent documenting and a 30% increase (11%–46%, p<0.01) in time spent in direct patient contact.

For the full details of the study, please access it here, at the West JEM Emergency Medical Journal.